Thursday, February 2, 2012
4284. Scrat PEZ
Scrat is a saber-toothed squirrel who is obsessed with acorns, constantly putting his life in danger to obtain and defend them. He has his own stories in the film, independent of the main plot, which are parallel with the journeys of the other main characters, causing them to interact with him at times.
The character is enormously successful and Scrat is viewed as a breakout character, the most popular of the franchise. In a special feature in the second film's DVD, his name has been stated to be a mix of the words "squirrel" and "rat", his species allegedly believed to have been a common ancestor of both. In the Ice Age DVD commentary, he is referred to as "The Scrat" by directors Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha.
Scrat is voiced in all Ice Age movies and short films by director Chris Wedge. He directly interacts with the story's main characters on six occasions. In the first film, he attacks Sid when the latter tries to eat his acorn, successfully regaining it, and later appears when Manny asks him for directions to where the baby's family is and Diego kicks Scrat away before he could tell about nearby saber-toothed tigers. At the end of the second film, Scrat creates a hole in the valley and releases all the melted ice. He later attacks Sid for saving his life (when he had already died and gone to paradise and was about to eat a giant acorn). In the third film, Scrat is stepped on by Manny and falls into Sid's head while chasing his acorn. Finally, he appears when Sid's "children" are batting a ball around, the ball actually being Scrat.
Scrat constantly hunts for his acorn either to bury it or eat it, but fate always gets in the way. He invariably ends up in humorous or painful situations: being struck by lightning, pursued by avalanches, and repeatedly knocked unconscious while fighting for his acorn. Yet he never gives up. Scrat generally loses, except when he defeats a school of piranhas and successfully battles Sid for his acorn.
Pez (trademarked PEZ, in capitals) is the brand name of an Austrian candy and their mechanical pocket dispensers. The candy itself takes the shape of pressed, dry, straight-edged blocks (15 mm (5/8 inch) long, 8 mm wide and 5 mm high), with Pez dispensers holding 12 Pez pieces.
The name Pez was derived from the letters at the start, the middle and the end of the German word for peppermint, Pfefferminz, the first Pez flavor. Pez was originally introduced in Austria, later exported, notably to the U.S., and eventually became available worldwide. The all-uppercase spelling of the logo echoes the trademark's style on the packaging and the dispensers themselves, with the logo drawn in perspective and giving the appearance that the letters are built out of 44 brick-like Pez confectioneries (14 bricks in the P and 15 in each of the E and Z).
Despite the widespread recognition of the Pez dispenser, the company considers itself to be primarily a confectionery company, and says over 3 billion confectionery bricks are consumed each year in the U.S. alone. Pez Dispensers are part of popular culture in many nations. Because of the large number of dispenser designs over the years, Pez dispensers are collected by enthusiasts.